Recently released data shows unemployment numbers in Shenandoah and Warren counties remained low in December, with Shenandoah dropping from 2.6 to 2.5 percent unemployment from November 2018.
Rates in Virginia continued to perform better than nationwide trends, but the partial government shutdown had a large impact on Virginia, according to studies conducted by WalletHub and Yahoo Finance. Employment numbers for January are not yet available.
The national economy took a small hit with unemployment rates rising from 3.5 to 3.2 percent from November 2018. Total civilian labor force — individuals able, willing and seeking a job or currently working — fell slightly as the total overall unemployment number rose from 5,650,000 to more than 6 million.
Shenandoah County, on the other hand, saw an increase in its labor force and employment numbers while the total number of unemployed persons dropped from 559 to 544.
Warren County’s overall rate held steady at 2.7 percent but its trends in labor force and total employment numbers were also positive while its total unemployed persons dropped from 545 in November to 542.
Warren County has kept pace with Virginia’s statewide unemployment trends, either tying or remaining within 0.1 percent unemployment higher or lower than the statewide average, according to its community profile on VirginiaLMI.com, which was last updated on Thursday.
Manufacturing makes up the largest single job provider in Shenandoah County, according to VirginiaLMI.com, creating nearly 3,400 jobs in December. Government jobs — including state, local and federal jobs — are the second largest employer in the county, according to the community profile. It is unclear what effect the partial shutdown will have on January’s job report as the bulk of government jobs in Shenandoah County are local government positions — 1,947 of the 2,231 jobs.
Warren County’s largest single jobs provider is local government jobs, followed by health care and social assistance, and then retail trade. Comparisons of Warren County’s community profile for December 2018 and January 2018 show little change in retail trade employment — suggesting holiday season hiring has a minimal impact on overall employment.
The statewide labor force continued to improve, expanded for the third straight month, adding more than 4,000 new members. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment was 2.8 percent — the lowest since April 2001, according to a news release from Gov. Ralph Northam.
Shenandoah County is tied with a handful of other Virginia localities for the No. 10 lowest unemployment rate in the state. Warren County comes in at No. 11 with Arlington County, Madison County, Alexandria City and Falls Church City leading the state with unemployment rates below 2 percent.